Showsight Presents The Papillon

“ONE MUST JUDGE AS A WHOLE. IT IS NOT ABOUT PARTS AND PIECES.” papillon Q&A WITH LOU ANN KING & SANDY SC HUMACHER

SS: Papillons are intelligent and enjoy having something to do. Most are athletic and willing to please. All these prop- er Papillon characteristics make them easy to train. The easy-to-care-for coat (if correct) is one of the reasons that I choose the breed. I don’t like to spend my time groom- ing, so the “polyester” coat is the perfect solution for me to have an elegant dog that doesn’t require constant care. In my opinion, if Paps didn’t shed, they would be perfect! 3. What are the major structural issues you see in the breed? LK: Where do I start? Fronts, rears and top lines all need to have some very serious review. The standard says, “Fore- legs slender, fine-boned and must be straight. Top line the backline is straight and level.” I don’t see how you can make any interpretation of “must be straight” in my mind—“must” is a strong word. As far as top lines, a top line that is not straight and level is an indication of faulty structure, which starts with the legs. SS: Poor fronts and poor toplines. Solid, functioning struc- ture is important for the many athletic venues in which Papillons compete. No matter how elegant an individual

is, he is not a good Papillon if the structure is poor and he can’t move elegantly and sound.

4. What are the most important point of the Papillon head?

LK: I don’t believe there is one most important part of the head; if it isn’t all there, it isn’t all there. One must judge as a whole. It is not about parts and pieces. SS: I do not think this is a “head breed.” The standard calls for a small head, but the head must be in balance and fit the dog wearing it without being heavy or cutesy. There is no preferred size in our standard, nor is there any size difference between sexes, so overall proportion and balance for the dog’s height are very important for the head and other aspects. The set and carriage of the ears affect expression and the appearance of the head. While ears are the hallmark of the breed, a pretty head is not all about ears. The set of the eye makes a big impact on the handsomeness of the head. A light eye detracts from Papillon expression. 5. How important is temperament to you in breeding and showing? LK: Temperament is very important, as it is who Papillons are. It is their essence. Without the ‘never have a bad day’, keen intelligence and happy demeanor, it is not a Papillon. SS: Extremely important. Some Papillons will not respond to attention-getters (whistles, squeaks, rattles) from judges. We often see dogs ignoring and even snubbing a judge’s attempts to get expression. Such a reaction is not an indication of temperament and should not be faulted. Papillons are friendly and outgoing; however, they like their own people best and prefer to work for them. 6. Is there anything else you’d like to add? LK: Let me say that one should not ever take a Papillon for its bits and pieces, it should be considered as a whole, but that being said, if the choice is between a dog with mediocre breed quality and great legs, and one that is stunning breed type with a rear that is not good, then I chose the stunning breed type. Without breed type, one just has a dog, but with a lovely-shaped head, dark eye, proper ear set, rounded large ears with fringe, silky flat coat, fine-boned with a level top line and a high set tail that has the proper arch. And of course, the most delight- ful, happy temperament—it is the whole package and I have devoted 39 years of my life to this little breed which totally has me wrapped around their little paws!

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017 • 223

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